The PCHA music question at hand: You can only listen to music from one artist for the rest of your life, but it can only be music that hasn’t been released yet. Anything this artist will appear on in the future counts, though — guest appearances, new bands in which they start, etc. Nothing from the back catalog is allowed.
So a few thoughts before we get into it:
1) You want someone you have faith will be around for a good long while, so artists of a certain age and bands who could conceivably break up soon are bad ideas.
2) Solo artists are safer than bands, because again — bands break up. You don’t want to bet your remaining life’s entertainment on Japandroids, only to see them split before ever releasing another album.
3) Prolific is ideal. Life is gonna get pretty boring with only one artist to listen to, so the more new music, the better. Ryan Adams>Stone Roses, in other words.
4) Diverse and eclectic get bonus points. I’d rather hear new sounds every couple years than the same old thing (however good) repeated album after album. Let’s call this the Ramones Corollary.
118. Wheel of Fortune
117. Rock and roller cola wars
116. Hula hoops
115. Chubby Checker
114. Walter Winchell
112. Edsel is a no-go
111. Johnnie Ray
110. The King and I
109. South Pacific
107. Bernie Goetz
I hate music. What is it worth?
Those are the first lines of Superchunk’s “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo,” which Mac McCaughan performed in an excellent solo set at Cheer Up Charlie’s last week, and that’s I question I ask myself a lot at South by Southwest: what is it worth?
Is it worth the crowds, the lines, the traffic, the douchebags, the mud, the aching feet, the hangovers, the waiting around, the sound problems, more douchebags, the fatigue, the shitty bands playing between the good ones, and the complete withdrawal of any semblance of a normal life for a week? Still? Even approaching 40?
Let’s find out together, because here we are again. My fourth trip to SXSW, and my first one holding a music badge (possibly making me one of those aforementioned douchebags),has come and gone. Take a seat while I pull out my slide projector and show you motherfuckers some vacation photos. Breathe it in. Enjoy it. Just as “Me & You & Jackie Mittoo” is ultimately a love song to music, so is my annual sojourn to Austin my chance to re-establish how much I love music.
This year’s crew: me, some family, some lawyers, some social workers. And some dude with a giant glowstick that wanted to hang out with us for an entire Run the Jewels show. And some girl who handed me a full vodka and ginger ale at a show, then spent about ten minutes convincing me it wasn’t roofied (I wasn’t worried). And some dude who actually tried to network with me at a show by asking legitimate questions about my work. Oh, very young — though your dreams may toss and turn you now/They will vanish away like your daddy’s best jeans.
A ghostly tale by The Dilemma and Arriaga Pizzoza
Bischoff was dead: to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that. The register of his burial was signed by Ted Turner, Time Warner, the Undertaker, and all WCW loyalists. McMahon signed it: and McMahon’s name was good for anything he chose to put his hand to. Old Bischoff was as dead as a door-nail.
McMahon knew he was dead; they had been rivals for I don’t know how many years until McMahon prevailed, and immediately erased Bischoff’s name from all the legal records and history books.
There he sat on his office, the morning of Wrestlemania 31: McMahon! A squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner! Secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster. The cold within him froze his old features, did odd things to his hair, enlarged his testicles, stiffened his gait.
On this particular morning, McMahon sat alone in his office in Levi’s Stadium (for McMahon had his workers build him an exact replica of his office in every arena where the company visited), counting stacks of coin and keeping a close eye on the running total of WWE Network subscribers.
“Happy Wrestlemania morning, father-in-law!” cried a cheerful voice.
- Borussia Dortmund’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Season
- Eddie Murphy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Opening Weekend
- Nicki Minaj and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Appropriation of Nazi Imagery
- The Blame Game: Why Alexander Needs to Accept Responsibility For His Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
Trust me, I’m recommending this break from a place of love and understanding.
The Dilemma: Is this the year I officially turned into Rolling Stone? Am I David Fricke now? Because most of the music I really liked this year was from established acts. A couple legit old-timers, yes, but also indie/alternative bands with multiple albums under their belt that appeared to be on the downswing. In addition to those listed below, I enjoyed albums from the Old 97s, Jenny Lewis, The Both (Ted Leo and Aimee Mann), Ryan Adams, and others.
The Dilemma, ca. 2014
Ladies and gentlemen, the 2014 World Series began last night.
And this year, I think we all know the World Series means just a little bit more.
Because this was the last year that Derek Jeter graced a baseball field, and all that happens in his wake this post-season will happen under a large shadow in the shape of the number 2.
Both the Royals and the Giants have obviously dedicated their seasons to the Captain, and are playing to earn his undying respect. Sorry: re2pect. Therefore, we can safely assume that whoever wins the Series will do so by playing the most Jeterian game possible under the circumstances, and reinventing themselves in Jeter’s image.
So let’s this break this down so we can make a scientific prediction: who will win the 2014 World Series?
Thank you, C.M. Punk.
Wrestlemania XXX is arguably the most important event for the WWE since Wrestlemania III. It has a big round number, and the WWE loves to play up round numbers. The company recently launched the WWE Network, the much-discussed online streaming and on-demand subscription channel that will air all future pay-per-views, original programming, and an insane amount of material from the vault. WWE’s stock price has tripled in the last 18 months on the back of plans for the network, and Wrestlemania is the first big test for the new business model.
This morning, when someone asked me if I had heard about Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin’s break-up, I made a noise that I can only describe as, “Vince McMahon orgasming at a body-building competition.”
This is our last goodbye
I hate to feel the love between us die
But it’s over
Just hear this and then I’ll go
You gave me more to live for
More than you’ll ever know
The Jets released The Sanchise last week, bringing an inevitable end to one of the most fascinating and tumultuous eras in Jets history. While it’s long been clear that Mark Sanchez would never be an effective quarterback for the Jets again, I’m still grappling with nostalgia and sadness at his departure.
Because even though Sanchez became a joke by the end of his Jets tenure, he still presided over — by far — the best time in my life to be a Jets fan. And if you were born after 1969, this was the best time in anyone’s life to be a Jets fan.
As the overrated Bob Dylan once sang, “things have changed.” It’s been three years since we’ve been able to have a man on the ground at South by Southwest, those Elysian Fields for music fans, that Bermuda Triangle for up-and-coming bands, that irresistible siren song for hipsters and corporate douchebags the world over. And for me.
In the 36 months since I last avoided 6th Street, I’ve had a kid and I’ve gotten 36 months older. That’s 36 months further away from my prime. 36 months further removed from my body being able to adequately process a hangover. 36 more months from the time I actually knew what the fuck the kids were listening to.
So it was not without some trepidation that I de-planed on Sunday, ready and not ready for a full week of music, alcohol, sleep deprivation and the worst piercings known to man. How badly would I feel my age? Am I getting too old for this shit?
Well, after 47 sets of live music, 40 different artists and 16 different venues (not including bands playing on front lawns of random houses or rappers standing on parked cars or rapping out the windows of moving vans), I can report that I am definitely not too old for this. Because it’s still fucking awesome, no matter the toll it takes on my organs, bones and brain.
This year, I’m joined once again by a Musky Canadian, two blood relatives, and a shit-ton of fucking lawyers, of all things. Full 2014 SXSW rundown, coming right up.
“…and in the center there is a hot, soft light”
The Oscars are over, so now we can FINALLY lift the PCHA embargo on discussing the best films of 2013.
jk, you guys.
Actually, I sent David Simon Cowell my year-end lists a while back so we could do a joint post. But here’s the thing about DSC: he’s a perfectionist. He’s been holed up in his writing den for months now, writing and re-writing and editing and re-editing and vising and revising his lists and responses. He works so hard on his posts — he feels his responsibility to Pop Culture Has AIDS so deeply — that he sometimes gets lost in the writing process. He demands that every word, every transition, every comma services not only the post but the mission of PCHA as a whole. It’s his blessing and his curse.
As such, we are moving on without him. The best music, TV and films of 2013, according to me and me only, coming right up.
The arbitration ruling in the Alex Rodriguez PED suspension was a big win for our old pal Commissioner Bud. It cemented his legacy. It proved he’s tough on drugs.
What a remarkable turnaround for everybody’s favorite beleaguered clown.
Well, we may not have written much in 2013 but that hasn’t stopped you guys!
As usual, your almost impossibly high level of discourse and repartee have kept this site ferociously alive and brimming with the electricity of rhetoric.
As such, your top 12 comments of the year.
David Simon Cowell:
Sure, PCHA may be dormant, but nothing rouses us from our slumber more than the death of a creator of critically adored and publicly ignored music (Does rising from your slumber mean writing a post and then procrastinating a full month before posting? –ed.). In honor of Lou Reed, godfather of punk and indie rock, here’s our draft of his best songs.
-Must be written and performed by Lou.
-Must have one from every decade.
1) Heroin – The Velvet Underground and Nico – 1967
I could have chosen this song because it masterfully straddles the line between sarcasm and celebration. I could have chosen it because it may still have the best use of feedback in rock history. I could have chosen it because it still gets me in the mood while I prepare my fix.
But for me, it’s the clear Number One pick for one overriding reason. There’s no other song that I can name that was more ahead of its time than this one. Play it for someone who hasn’t heard of VU, of whom there are still plenty, and I guarantee you that they won’t be able to guess that it came out in 1967, or anytime close. When I first heard it in the late ’80s, thanks to Oliver Stone including it on The Doors soundtrack, it was fucking revelatory. If you first heard it six months before Sgt. Pepper came out? You wouldn’t have been able to take it. Just compare it to the Number One song when it came out:
So that’s how it ends. With no alarms and no surprises.
Only the world’s most obstinate contrarian would deny that Breaking Bad is in the midst of a remarkable final season — perhaps the greatest final season for a drama series ever. Of course, there’s one episode remaining and the small matter of sticking the final landing, which we all know doesn’t always happen.
But given what we’ve seen these past 7 episodes (these past 5+ seasons, really), there’s very little reason to doubt that Vince Gilligan knows how to end this story well. So all that’s left to do is to guess what he’s got up his sleeve. So, click through for our best, most educated predictions for how Walter White’s story is going to wrap up.
Mike Francesa: Welcome to Mike’d Up, Francesa on the FAN. I’m your host, Mike Francesa, thank you for spending your drive time with us.
Joining us today on Mike’d Up is the Yankees’ General Manager Brian Cashman. We want to get Cash’s take on some recent tweets by Alex Rodriguez, and everything else that’s happening in the Bronx. Brian, you’re on the FAN. Thank you for joining us.
Brian Cashman: Thanks for having me, Mike.
The scene: Rafael Nadal’s post-match press conference following his shocking first-round, straight-sets Wimbledon loss to Steve Darcis.
Reporter: Rafa, Rafa! Can you talk about what happened out there today?
This is a depressing week to be a New York Jets fan, as I deal with the aftermath of the team trading away its best player of my lifetime, and as I prepare for a dismal multi-year rebuilding process — likely without my beloved Rex Ryan.
So thank God for you, Rick Reilly, PCHA Sportswriting Hall of Shamer, for this gem from your column dated April 18.
Welcome to the new TV roundtable discussion show, “One Take.”
Except it’s not on TV, the table isn’t round and there isn’t any discussion. It’s just me and my One Take. A lot less arguing that way. Shall we begin?
TOPIC: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers apparently won’t give up more than a first-round draft pick for Jets superstar cornerback Darrelle Revis.
ONE TAKE: This trade isn’t going to happen. Revis is worth at least a first- and a second-rounder. Revis will be a Jet this season. Tim Tebow, on the other hand, will be a Hamilton Tiger-Cat.
I bet ESPN’s so glad they renewed his contract!
Game of Thrones is a series driven by story — a giant tapestry of a story encompassing hundreds of characters, a long time span, multiple wars and a huge geographic reach. It’s epic in scope — so huge, in fact, that there’s little time for such trivia as character development, theme, or figuring out where episodes should begin and end.
The vast majority of GoT episodes cut briskly from one character to another, and from one locale to another, sometimes never returning after we spend a few minutes with Jon Snow or Arya Stark. The result is a feeling of constant momentum, but that momentum is an illusion because the plot actually advances glacially. And when a show is so dependent on plot — when that’s all there is — a lack of forward motion is a big issue.
Compounding the problem is that GoT has shown itself capable of greatness in individual episodes, notably with season one’s “Baelor” and season two’s “Blackwater,” the latter of which set a high mark thanks to a narrowed focus and consistent tone (and big budget). Those episodes transcended George R.R. Martin’s source material, while the majority of episodes merely try to keep pace.
Once a show has proven it can be great, it’s hard to accept mediocrity. It would be like if after “The Suitcase,” Mad Men spent most its episodes following Harry Crane and Ken Cosgrove diligently working on ad campaigns, with Don Draper providing the occasional supervisory note of encouragement.
So with season three of GoT premiering last night, let’s check in and see what actually happened in this episode, and whether we saw any notable movement.
Spoilers from S3E01, obviously, coming right up.
*because I have to get a post up quick before David Simon Cowell turns this into a Mommy Blog*
Joe Posnanski, esteemed maybe of the Kansas City Sabermetric Mafia, is widely acclaimed as one of the best sportswriters in the business. I understand why. He’s accepting of analytics and new statistics while still paying heed to the more romantic aspects of sports fandom.
Lately, though, Ol’ Pos seems to be taking that romantic stuff a little too much to heart. It’s as if he’s trying to reinvent purple prose with more economical verbiage, but the most flowery, crocodile-tear-soaked emotions known to sport. As Posnanski has wandered from SI to Sports on Earth to NBC in recent months, he’s left behind a trail of heartwarming metaphors that would make Rick Reilly proud.
See if you can pick out the real quotes from Posnanski and which ones we made up.
Did you guys hear that there’s going to be a Veronica Mars movie? Because fans funded it on Kickstarter?
You did? Not news?
OK, well did you hear that two aging blog proprietors got all worked up about it and had an e-mail debate?
I THOUGHT NOT.
What happens when David Simon Cowell and I emerged from our recent hibernation to discuss the lazy abomination that is Grantland’s obituary for the very much alive David Bowie?
One person who adores David Bowie and one person who doesn’t really have a dog in that race!
We use the word “inarguable” a surprisingly high number of times, given that we are in the midst of an argument!
And David Simon Cowell writes more words for this blog than he has in the last year combined! Who can fucking resist that?
Did you know that for a mere $99, you can chat with legendary Phillies and Cubs second baseman (and proud owner of a lifetime .359 slugging percentage) Mickey Morandini?
And that’s not all. For just $300, you can “surprise your baseball buddies by inviting Mickey to a live fantasy draft!” Cough up a cool $750 and Mickey “The Dandy Little Glove Man” Morandini himself will come to your birthday party or bar mitzvah.
But wait! There’s more!
You can also talk to New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride (or have him join your pick-up game)! Or enjoy a round of golf with NBA legend Cedric Ceballos! The world is your oyster!
And luckily, this amazing opportunity isn’t limited to the greats of our sporting times. You can speak with Dennis Haskins — Mr. Belding himself — for less than 20 bucks. Or have a phone hang with original Bachelor Alex Michel, Silver Spoons vixen Erin Gray, or My Two Dads standout Greg Evigan. It’s all happening.